US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive in Israel on Saturday night and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday in order to further the political process with the Palestinians, Ynet learned on Tuesday.
US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell will also be arriving in the Jewish state on Friday to set the ground for Clinton's visit.
The east Jerusalem-based al-Quds newspaper reported earlier this week that Clinton will soon be visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Clinton briefed US President Barack Obama on Thursday on efforts for the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. No progress has been made as of yet.
Israel remains firm in its assertion that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his staff are not doing enough to promote the political process. The Palestinians have recently set a date for elections in the PA for January 2010, which threatens to delay the process further.
'Greater Palestinian effort'
Meanwhile, the White House has urged both sides to step up their efforts of renewing the negotiations and called for the cessation of construction in settlements. Clinton and Obama have discussed the progress that was achieved on several points. The secretary of state mentioned that the Palestinians have exerted greater effort in the fields of security and Palestinian institution-building "but they are required to do more to end the incitement and prevent terror."
Clinton will be arriving in Israel directly from Morocco.
During her visit, she is slated to discuss, among other issues, the Arab countries' gestures towards Israel, including that of the North-African nation, all in an effort to encourage the resumption of negotiations.
However, moderate nations such as Morocco and Saudi Arabia, which refuses to perform any gesture, appear unenthusiastic in the face of the American initiative, mainly due to fear and aversion of Netanyahu's right-wing government.